I call it the Birthday Funk. My big milestone birthday is a week from today. For the better part of a week I’ve been getting anxious about it. It has nothing to do with turning a year older or it being a big birthday. I feel this way EVERY year. I love birthdays and enjoy others’ birthdays, sending them cards and saying “Happy Birthday” to them on Twitter. I’m just generally happy they were born and glad to wish them truly good things. I’m excited about my own birthday for a month or two in advance. Up until about 2 weeks ahead of time, then I get that awful feeling. I don’t even know how to describe it. I’ve had it since I was a kid. I know it has everything to do with how high my expectations are and how easily disappointed I am. I enjoy nice things as much as the next person but I am not *overly* into material things. What I mean to say is: I already own everything I could possibly want and don’t need ANY gifts whatsoever. Which means I’d prefer NOT to get anything. Unless the person really knows me well, it’s usually not something I can use.
Part of the reason I haven’t made plans to go to BlogHer yet is because the convention is usually on the weekend of my birthday. This time it is the weekend before my birthday. I am afraid I’d be in a birthday funk on top of being overwhelmed and anxious at being around so many people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Leo and I like attention. It has to be the right kind of attention. I like cards and hugs and phone calls (doesn’t have to be that day) but now I realize it’s how people treat me year round that means the most to me. If they ignore me all year but call me to wish me a quick Happy Birthday, it rings hollow. It’s always nice to be remembered and that’s a bone of contention with me. I’m always afraid I’ll be overlooked or forgotten.
I’ve had a few wonderful birthdays and a few awful birthdays. Now they are a lot like any other day, as so many people are fond of saying. Which means that for a lot a of them, I can’t remember anything specific that happened on them. That’s one of the reasons I love going on vacation over my birthday. I don’t get the mail until home from the trip and when I see the 3 birthday cards (yes, that’s the usual number I get), I don’t feel let down because I had a great vacation. If we go on vacation, it feels like we are celebrating every day which I love. When I stay home for my birthday, I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen and it never does. It just seems like such a letdown. It’s supposed to be a special day and when it isn’t, does that mean I’m not a special person?! That is at the core of this birthday funk. I’m afraid I’m insignificant, inconsequential, don’t matter. Not worth remembering, etc. I mean there should be a parade and toasts, etc. right?!
It’s almost like my insecurity taking form by showing me once a year that I haven’t made a mark on anyone’s life. I feel sorry for those around me who don’t know what to do to make me feel better. As I said, being showered with gifts won’t do it. I prefer the gifts that come unexpectedly for no reason at all. Those bring delight and sheer happiness! If I think someone spent a lot of money on me, I just can’t enjoy it whether it’s a meal out or a high priced drink, gift, etc. I don’t know if that has to do with my cheapness or feeling unworthy.
I’ve never written or even talked about this topic because it seems like a huge pity party for one. I have NO reason to feel bad about my birthday or anything associated with it. No one I’ve loved has died on that day. Shoutout to @TheBecksB who has had that happen twice and manages to power through on her birthday in spite of it all. I’m going to write a blog post about the ghosts of birthdays past. Telling about some of the most memorable ones.
I’m being granted the opportunity to celebrate another year on this earth and hopefully live another year longer. Isn’t that already being given the greatest gift of all? I don’t want this post to be a bunch of people wishing me a happy birthday. I plan to post on the day of my birthday and you can wish me well then if you so choose. 😀 I would like to hear if anyone else has this birthday funk where they just know they’re going to be disappointed and letdown ahead of time. If so, how do you combat it? I’ve had so much fun at others’ parties and events I’ve gone to that I’ve felt like it was my birthday, if you know what I mean!
Since August 7th falls on a Tuesday this year, hubby has to work. He’s already offered to take the day off (use vacation) and we could go downtown Chicago and hang out. He’d still have to work Wed. though so I told him not to. We can start the drinking and celebrating Wed. night when he gets home from work and have it go on until Sunday morning when he goes back. I’m kidding. We’ll drink one night and I’ll overdo it and not want to drink again for a week or two. 😉 Just that he offered was enough. I did tell him the greatest gift I could have would be time to blog! Not kidding.
The one way I’m acknowledging my birthday is by getting my super long hair cut short. I donated my hair 5-6 yrs ago to Locks of Love and plan to do it again on Thurs morning. I’ve been thinking about this for months and last time when I did it, I didn’t have any pictures of the before and after. I also did it in early Nov. and it didn’t coincide with anything else. I wasn’t upset to have it cut and was actually happy to help someone else by sharing my hair. This time because I’ve paired it closely with my birthday, it has been nothing but stressful. I didn’t have a hairstylist last time and just picked one out of the phone book. I was fairly happy with her. This time I didn’t know who to go to so I ended up agonizing over it for weeks, researching it online and then deciding to go with the one from last time. Better safe than sorry. I wish taking risks came second nature to me. Instead I worry. I’m not even too concerned about how the cut turns out since I know my hair grows fast and will grow out. I’m just ill at ease in the whole salon atmosphere. You’d think at my impending age I could handle it with no problem. I guess it just goes to show no matter what age we are, we still have more growing (up) to do! 🙂